Friends Of Libraries In Oklahoma (FOLIO) recently inducted Betty Hardin of Bartlesville and Cletta Kinnear of Meeker into the FOLIO Hall of Fame. In attendance at the ceremony were Hardin’s husband Dr. William Joe Hardin of Bartlesville and daughter, and Kinnear’s husband and son, Kenneth Kinnear of Meeker and Ken Kinnear of Tulsa.
Friends Of Libraries In Oklahoma (FOLIO) recently inducted Betty Hardin of Bartlesville and Cletta Kinnear of Meeker into the FOLIO Hall of Fame. In attendance at the ceremony were Hardin’s husband Dr. William Joe Hardin of Bartlesville and daughter, and Kinnear’s husband and son, Kenneth Kinnear of Meeker and Ken Kinnear of Tulsa. This award was created in 2000-01 to honor FOLIO members who have proven their dedication and commitment through outstanding service to the Friends Of Libraries In Oklahoma. Recipients have shown their love and loyalty to Oklahoma libraries by starting Friends of the Library groups across the state and in their communities, serving on FOLIO committees, working on FOLIO projects, traveling across the state to attends meetings and events, and furthering FOLIO goals.
Tom Terry of Shawnee and Kinnear of Meeker are members of the FOLIO board of directors.
Kinnear has served on the FOLIO board for several years and worked hard as chair of the FOLIO best friends committee. Her bright and positive nature inspires other FOLIO board members to continue to work for better Oklahoma libraries.
Several years ago, Meeker did not have a public library. Kinnear said, “The Meeker Public Library was a dream I wanted to complete. I believe every town, no matter how small, should have a library.” She found a few other people who felt the same way and called a meeting to see if townspeople were interested in starting a library. Finding a great deal of support, Cletta was instrumental in forming a Friends of the Library organization to promote the idea. The group received a FOLIO seed grant which helped the them incorporate and obtain nonprofit 501(c)3 status. The friends expressed their desire to create a library to the City Council. Although the council was supportive, funding was a problem. A building, which needed remodeling, was purchased with a COEDD grant. Kinnear helped paint the building, collect used books, wash books, haul pickup loads of donated books, and organize fund raisers, bean suppers, pie suppers. She and other Meeker library supporters, including Ella May Gallaway, consulted with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) about creating a library and took ODL classes to learn how to operate a library. Eventually, a library staffed totally by volunteers was opened with very little funding. The city of Meeker showed support by paying utility bills and ultimately provided financial support for the ongoing expenses. Kinnear and Gallaway still do the janitorial work and help whenever needed. Today, the Meeker Public Library has a paid librarian and is recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries as a legal library, which allows it to receive state aid. Kinnear continues to spend time communicating the library needs to the City Council.
Hardin has served on the FOLIO Board of Directors for about 25 years. She has served as vice president, edited the newsletter, and chaired the annual meeting committee. Over the years, Hardin was known as a “cheerleader” for FOLIO as she served on many committees and projects. Earlier, she worked closely with one of FOLIO’s founders, Lillian Norberg, to strengthen and nuture the organization.
More than thirty years ago, Hardin joined the Friends of the Library in Bartlesville. She said, “I started out wanting to be a library supporter because I felt that I wanted to work for something which benefited everyone. You know that the library certainly does that.” Hardin suggested projects that other friends groups were doing and helped initiate them in Bartlesville. She was involved in implementing many friends projects including the “Books Sandwiched In” program, creative writing contest and book sale. The Bartlesville Friends first sold books that the library could no longer use at the “Alley Cat Book Sale” which was held annually in the library alley. This has evolved into an ongoing book sale at the library. Over the years, Hardin has served on the Bartlesville friends board, chaired numerous committees and worked on many projects and still is an active friends member.
Hardin grew up in Tulsa, attended Stephens College and The University of Oklahoma. She has also volunteered in the Service League, OK Mozart, the Bartlesville Symphony Society, and her church altar guild. She has two children, Suzi Hardin Chelsea of Tulsa and Steve Hardin of Alabama.
Previous inductees to the FOLIO Hall of Fame are:
2000- 01 — Lee Brawner (deceased), Oklahoma City; Thordis Helland, Tulsa; Gail Miller, Altus; Lillian Born Norberg (deceased), Tulsa; and Marilyn Vesely, Oklahoma City.
2001-02 — Beverly Dieterlen, Tulsa; Bruce Stone, The Village; and Irene Wickham, Tahlequah.
2002-03 — Bob Segal, McAlester and Pat Segal, McAlester.
2003-04 — Julia Brady Ratliff, Tulsa
2004-05 — John Harkey (deceased), and Eufaula, Mary Harkey, Eufaula; and Mary Lu Atkinson (deceased), Oklahoma City.
2005-06 — Carol McReynolds, Oklahoma City and Joe McReynolds, Oklahoma City.
2006-07 — Tom Terry, Shawnee and Ernestine Clark, Oklahoma City.
FOLIO is a statewide nonprofit organization which promotes and supports libraries in Oklahoma through friends of libraries and other library support groups. The organization provides seed grants for new local friends of the library organizations, awards scholarships for library support staff for contining education, grants Best Friends awards to recognize excellent performance of local groups, publishes a newsletter, holds an annual meeting to share knowledge with local Friends, and furnishes organizing information.